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Stratford Workers' Compensation Lawyer > Blog > Workers' Compensation > Understanding Workers’ Compensation Claims: Workers’ Compensation Podcast Part 2 of 4

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Claims: Workers’ Compensation Podcast Part 2 of 4


In the second installment of four podcast episodes, Attorney Lawrence Morizio discusses COVID 19, occupational disease and the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims. He also discusses the difference between employees and contractors; and begins going through a chronological handling of a claim.

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides medical benefits and wage replacement to employees injured in the course of employment. It’s essential to understand your rights and the steps involved in filing a claim. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. COVID-19 and Occupational Disease

In light of the global pandemic, many workers are facing new challenges related to COVID-19 and occupational diseases. It’s important to know how these conditions are handled under workers’ compensation laws.

COVID-19 and Occupational Disease

In the podcast, Attorney Morizio delves into the specifics of how COVID-19 is classified as an occupational disease and its implications for workers’ compensation claims. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Recognition as an Occupational Disease: COVID-19 may be recognized as an occupational disease if it can be proven that the infection occurred in the course of employment.
  • Evidence and Documentation: Employees must provide substantial evidence that the infection was contracted at work. This often includes medical records, workplace exposure reports, and statements from healthcare providers.
  • Impact on Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations for filing a claim related to COVID-19 may differ from standard occupational disease claims. It’s crucial to check the specific regulations in your state or jurisdiction.
  1. Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Compensation Claims

The statute of limitations defines the time frame within which you must file your workers’ compensation claim. Missing this deadline can result in the loss of your right to benefits. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Standard Time Frames: Generally, workers’ compensation claims must be filed within one to three years from the date of injury or diagnosis of an occupational disease.
  • Exceptions and Extensions: Some states allow for extensions under certain circumstances, such as when the injury or illness is not immediately apparent.
  1. Employees vs. Contractors: Know Your Status

Understanding whether you are classified as an employee or an independent contractor is crucial, as it determines your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.

  • Employees: Typically covered by workers’ compensation insurance provided by their employer. Benefits include medical treatment, wage replacement, and rehabilitation services.
  • Contractors: Generally, independent contractors are not covered under workers’ compensation laws. Instead, they must rely on personal or occupational accident insurance
  1. Chronological Handling of a Claim

A successful workers’ compensation claim involves several steps, ranging from notifying your employer to appealing decisions. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown

Step 1: Immediate Actions Post-Injury

  • Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the top priority. Seek immediate medical treatment and inform the healthcare provider that the injury is work-related.
  • Report the Injury: Notify your employer as soon as possible, ideally in writing. Many states require that the injury be reported within a specific time frame.

Step 2: Filing the Claim

  • Claim Form Submission: Complete and submit the necessary workers’ compensation claim form to your employer or the relevant state agency.
  • Documentation: Keep detailed records of all medical treatments, expenses, and communications related to your injury.

Step 3: Claim Review Process

  • Employer’s Role: After receiving your claim, the employer submits it to their insurance carrier, which will handle the claim’s administration.
  • Investigation: The insurance carrier may conduct an investigation, including reviewing medical records and potentially interviewing witnesses.

Step 4: Receiving Benefits

  • Initial Determination: The insurance carrier will issue a determination on your claim, outlining the benefits you will receive.
  • Appeal Process: If your claim is denied or you disagree with the benefit amount, you have the right to appeal. This process varies by state but often involves an administrative hearing or review board.

Step 5: Returning to Work

  • Light Duty or Modified Work: Depending on the nature of your injury, you may be able to return to work in a modified capacity.
  • Full Duty: Once fully recovered, you can resume your regular duties. It’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations to avoid re-injury.

In Summary:

Attorney Morizio covered many topics in this podcast; and while the workers’ compensation process may be complex to navigate, consulting with and hiring a specialist can ensure your entitlement to benefits and treatment within the scope of your claim. Remember, each situation is unique, and consulting with a board certified workers’ compensation attorney can provide personalized guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.

Contact A Stratford, Connecticut Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney today.

Need help understanding your workers’ compensation claim or any topics covered in this podcast? Contact a board certified workers’ compensation attorney at the Morizio Law Firm today at 475-338-3505 for a free consultation.

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